“What I wish you knew…”: Top tips from Australian film and TV publicists – Part 2

There’s a lot that can be done strategically and cheaply to attract eyeballs to your screen projects, according to publicists within AACTA’s Media and Public Relations Chapter. There are also some very common mistakes you can avoid.

In this ongoing series, we highlight the skills and expertise of publicists within our AACTA membership, inviting them to share tips, tricks and insights borne of long experience in our particular industry. We’ll also ask these publicists to name some of the frequent frustrations they encounter in the line of duty, in order to better assist our filmmakers to promote their work.

You can read our first installment of this series, along with tips from Louise Heseltine over here. This week we talk to Sarah Finney, whose varied career – including a stint working with us at the AFI | AACTA – has given her a wealth of top tips.

Sarah Finney

Sarah got her start in the screen industry while still at Melbourne University. She worked in production roles, including as an assistant to the producer of Once Were Warriors, Robin Scholes, before working as a unit publicist on feature films AmyThe Craic and One Perfect Day and completing further studies in communication at RMIT. Sarah then joined exhibitor and distributor Dendy as Victorian publicist, working on the publicity and promotions campaigns for a range of quality local and international films.  After three years at Dendy, Sarah joined Lonely Planet where she worked on high profile brand and product campaigns including the ABC TV series Going Bush with Cathy Freeman and Deborah Mailman. Moving to Canberra, Sarah worked in Public Affairs for the Australian Government’s overseas aid agency, AusAID, being posted to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta before becoming Media Manager. Sarah then worked in communications for the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) where a highlight was helping to bring attention to the restored version of Wake in Fright. She returned to Melbourne in 2010 to work with the Australian Film Institute on media, industry and member communications, and of course the AFI Awards! Most recently she’s been managing unit publicity on the mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War (Southern Star John Edwards) and drama series House Husbands (Playmaker Media/The Lantern Group).

Here are Sarah’s answers to our questions:

The best kinds of publicity for an Australian film are… Lots of it! Start your publicity campaign as early as you can to build awareness, and establish a website and social media presence at the outset. Utilise your main cast. Launching a new face can be as compelling as promoting established names, and don’t limit yourself to the film and entertainment sections or programs of the media. Be creative!

The most effective thing a film producer/film director can do to help sell their film to local audiences is…. Hire a unit publicist as early as possible! Seriously, know who your audience is and make sure you target them through the publicity and marketing. Support your distributor. Work with them on the campaign, listen to their ideas and expect to be challenged. Be prepared to go on the road to promote the film. Red carpet premieres are great fun but some films are better served by doing a publicity tour to major capital cities and even regional areas, rather than having one big (and expensive) bash.

Melbourne’s Kino Cinema organised word of mouth preview screenings with members of the financial sector to promote THE BANK in 2001.

The most important thing for a distributor or exhibitor to consider when publicising an Australian film is… In distribution, allow enough time to generate as much publicity around the release as possible. You can have a terrific advertising campaign but you need PR to match it. Australian films are very labour intensive from a PR perspective but as a publicist very rewarding when you have been part of the team since script stage. And of course, harness word of mouth. If you have a great movie, show it to people, get them talking about it! While online and social media are increasingly important, traditional media shouldn’t be overlooked. Australian films don’t have the advertising budgets that major US releases to, so publicity plays a much bigger part.

Exhibitors are at the coalface, dealing directly with audiences and can really help sell a film at a local level. If you’re an exhibitor/theatre, you can:

  • Organise word of mouth previews.
  • Find out if there’s a local connection with the cast or crew, perhaps they can do an event or some publicity for you.
  • Consider whether the film will lend itself well to group bookings and identify groups to target. Sometimes it’s really clear, a film is based on a classic book which means school groups will be interested. Maybe it would be a good fundraiser. When I was at the Kino, our CBD location worked to our advantage with Rob Connolly’s The Bank. I recall we had around 6 – 8 paid preview screenings, all group bookings from the financial sector – ANZ, Esanda, Westpac, ASX. They had a great night out, we got box office and helped generate word of mouth ahead of the film’s opening, and the film performed particularly well at our cinema, especially the early evening sessions for the ‘after work’ crowd. For the employees of these banks and finance companies, it was a rare chance for them to see their world up on screen. Always look for these opportunities.

If there’s one mistake that gets made when it comes to publicity for Australian films it’s… In my view, there often needs to be a more intensive word of mouth preview screening program. The more people who see the film in the 6 – 8 weeks prior to release the better. If they like it they will tell their family and friends, and it takes time for word of mouth to filter through. If there’s a secret twist or some other reason why you can’t preview yet, then you will need to build that awareness another way.

The story of the restoration of WAKE IN FRIGHT became an essential part of the publicity for the film’s re-release in 2009.

One of my favourite campaigns for an Australian film was…. At the NFSA, I worked on the re-launch of the lost Australian classic Wake in Fright. The film had been recovered and restored, and to prepare the film for release, as well as working with Madman on the campaign, I undertook extensive research and interviews to tell the story of the making of the film, its original release, loss, recovery and restoration. It was a fascinating journey and a very satisfying one, not just to see audiences discovering this forgotten film, but also to share the story of the original production, the quest to find the original negative and the artistry involved in putting the film back together again. The media really embraced the story and helped Wake in Fright find a new audience, and it was a great opportunity to raise the profile of the NFSA, because Wake in Fright made the work of the NFSA accessible and relevant to audiences.

I think that Hopscotch’s campaign for The Sapphires has been excellent. Of course it helps to have a great movie to promote, but they have really got the film out there and I hope everyone sees it.

I also think producer Robyn Kershaw and Roadshow created a terrific campaign for Bran Nue Dae. They were very innovative, establishing an online and social media presence very early on. One strategy was to give ‘fans’ the opportunity to vote for one of two very different poster designs. Key art is crucial and the producers and distributor of Bran Nue Dae engaged directly with audiences to find out what artwork they responded to and this became part of the campaign itself, as it went viral and helped promote the film.

An innovative strategy by Roadshow to involve fans in choosing the key art for BRAN NUE DAE.

My other top tips are: You only have one chance to build your arsenal for publicity and promotions and that is during production. Make sure you make the most of this time with:

  • Stills photography, an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and behind-the-scenes shoot. These are critical. In regards to stills, you need, strong, clear, well-lit images. It is really important that key scenes are photographed and that there is sufficient light to ensure the images are bright enough for editorial use. Time on set is very tight, but if it’s a crucial scene from a publicity perspective than those extra few minutes spent on holding the set up for stills will mean you have what you need to secure feature stories and interviews, particularly cover stories in newspapers and magazines. You need scene stills and portraits of the cast and if budget permits, doing a studio photo shoot with the cast is really useful as it means your distributor or network have plenty of imagery for publicity. Investing in an EPK shoot means that you will have plenty of material for use online, through social media and DVD extras. There are production companies who now specialise in this and can work with you to shoot what you will need to promote the film across multiple platforms, especially social media.
  • Media visits to set: the variety and volume of media visits to set during filming is determined by a range of factors and in some instances, it is not practical or appropriate. In television it is not uncommon for a drama to go to air while it is still in post-production and given the condensed time frame, media visits to set help build awareness prior to the launch of the show. The timelines can be very fluid and it can mean that delivery is very rushed, so it helps to have an agreed schedule for publicity materials as well as other delivery items. Each project is different but where possible I try to keep media visits to set brief and to a minimum and ensure that there is as little disruption to filming as possible. Media usually require short interviews with cast while on set and I try to identify the best days in the shoot schedule to accommodate media without demanding to much of the actors or assistant directors. There was intense media interest in Howzat and most of the key TV press visited the set. The cast and crew were very good-humoured about it all, especially Lachy Hulme (Kerry Packer) who the media were most interested in! Lachy always found a few minutes in his very demanding schedule to do publicity.

Intense media interest in Lachy Hulme’s performance as Kerry Packer in HOWZAT helped to generate buzz. Photo: Natasha Blankfield.

In my time working in the industry, the most exciting changes to PR for film have been…. Probably digitisation and the evolution of online and social media. While a distributor or TV network might ultimately market a screen project, now everyone can help build awareness of a film or TV show for social media, especially the cast. Starting with candid Instagram pictures that cast and crew Tweet from the set, to unveiling the official website and launching the trailer online – it all helps. But you need to be strategic about it and have someone coordinating it all. Discuss this with your distributor and decide who will be leading this early as there needs to be a cohesive online presence, one official Twitter account and one Facebook page.

In my time working in the industry, the most disturbing changes to PR for film have been…. The consolidation of the media industry. While digital has brought amazing opportunities and new channels, especially through online and social media, it has also seen the rise of “shared content”. I think it is a great shame that newspapers around the country are merging and as result there are fewer opportunities to reach audiences.

Thanks for your time, Sarah and for sharing these great examples! You can also follow Sarah on Twitter at @SarahLFinney.

Next fortnight’s PR Spotlight will be Screen Australia’s Media and Public Affairs Manager, Teri Calder, and following that, veteran Australian publicist Catherine Lavelle, managing director and founder of boutique PR agency CLPR. If you’re a screen publicist and an AACTA member interested in contributing, please email editor@afi.org.au

*The 15 chapters within the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts are: Actors, Animation, Cinematographers, Composers, Costume Designers, Directors, Editors, Executives, Hair & Makeup Artists, Media & Public Relations, Producers, Production Designers, Screenwriters, Sound, and Visual & Special Effects. More information on membership and chapter allocation can be found here on the AACTA website.)

On the Box: Australian Television 2012 – Part 1


By Simon Elchlepp

Now for the fourth year running, we preview some Australian television highlights coming up in the year ahead (you can find our stories from 2009, 2010 and 2011 to revel in a bit of TV nostalgia). As it’s already April, some of 2012’s highlights have already come and gone, but there are still plenty to look forward to. In fact, 2012 shapes up to be a particularly interesting year on the small screen, for while there are many continuing series building on successes of past seasons, there is an impressive number of original productions due to screen this year. The ABC, in particular, has increased its drama and comedy output dramatically in recent years, while the commercial networks seem more prepared to take the plunge on ‘event’ telemovies and mini-series than in previous years. What’s also notable is that Australian TV producers and writers keep mining the nation’s rich history for their inspiration, unearthing stories from both familiar and lesser known periods of Australia’s past.

The trend also continues for networks to offer more viewing flexibility, with online viewing services like the ABC’s iview, SBS’ On Demand and Network Seven’s Plus7, constantly improving the audience’s ability to catch up on viewing at times to suit their own schedules.

John Waters and Asher Keddie – OFFSPRING SEASON 3.

As in 2011, we’ll focus on the television categories celebrated in the AACTA Awards: Drama, Comedy & Light Entertainment and Children’s Television. Some shows that have premiered recently, or will do so in the next couple of weeks, are Randling – six-time AFI Award winner Andrew Denton’s long-awaited return as show host, as he presides over a battle of words between teams that include witty wordsmiths such as Julia Zemiro, Rob Carlton, Angus Sampson and Robyn Butler (from 2 May, ABC1); Laid Series 2, which sees Roo (Alison Bell) having her world turned upside down when she is introduced to her opposite – Marcus, who doesn’t kill everybody he has sex with, but heals them (from 2 May, ABC1); and  Offspring Series 3 (now showing on Wednesday nights, 8.30pm, Network Ten), in which Nina Proudman (Asher Keddie) faces more messy family challenges. We’ve also just seen the impressive telemovie Beaconsfield on the Network Nine.

As always, we can’t include everything, but here’s a taste of Australian content that’s still to appear on your telly in 2012. In Part 1 we’ll look at the Drama offerings. Next week, in Part 2, we’ll focus on Comedy & Light Entertainment and a couple of new Children’s shows set to debut this year.

Drama: Series, Mini-Series and Telefeatures

Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms (Network Ten, from May 15 2012, six-part mini-series)

One of the darker spots of Australia’s recent history is the Milperra massacre, a violent clash between the Bandidos and the Comancheros motorcycle clubs on Father’s Day, Sunday 2 September 1985 that left seven people killed and 28 wounded. Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms aims to shine a light on how this deadly conflict could built up in the bikie gangs’ tribal culture with its particular code of honour. The show’s strong cast reads like a who’s who of Australian male TV stars including Todd Lasance, Luke Ford, Anthony Hayes, Damian Walshe-Howling and Callan Mulvey, with two-time AFI winner Susie Porter and Maeve Dermody in other roles. Veteran TV producers Greg Haddrick and Roger Simpson and director Peter Andrikidis together have a whopping 13 AFI Awards and 32 AFI Award nominations to their names, so it’s safe to say that this project is in good hands.

L-R: Anthony Hayes, Matt Nable and Callan Mulvey rev it up in Channel Ten’s BROTHERS IN ARMS.

Dangerous Remedy (ABC1, 2012 TBC, telemovie)

Jeremy Sims will take the lead in ABC1’s DANGEROUS REMEDY.

The story of Melbourne GP Dr Bert Wainer is that of a long, hard struggle on two fronts. As Australian social mores rapidly change in the late 1960s, Dr Wainer, moved by the death of a young woman, embarks on a campaign to overturn laws that make abortion an offence punishable by up to 15 years in jail. But soon he’s not only up against the legal system, but also against an illegal abortion ring involving highly paid doctors, backyard abortionists, high-ranking police and power-broking politicians. As producer/writer’s Kris Wyld’s next project after the AFI and AACTA Award-winning East West 101, Dangerous Remedy promises to be another slice of first-rate Australian TV drama, brought to life by a high-profile cast that includes Jeremy Sims (as Bert Wainer), William McInnes, Susie Porter, Maeve Dermody and Gary Sweet.

Devil’s Dust (ABC1, second half of 2012, two-part telemovie)

For more than a century, asbestos was one of the most commonly used building materials, and it took decades to recognise its devastating health impacts. In Australia, a decisive part of that struggle were the actions of three men, recreated in the telemovie Devil’s Dust. These central characters are: Bernie Banton (Anthony Hayes), who takes legal action against James Hardie after contracting cancer from his years of working with asbestos; Adam Bourke (Don Hany), who becomes aware that James Hardie is selling a product that causes the death of thousands of people; and Matt Peacock (Ewen Leslie), the ABC journalist who reveals evidence of the link between asbestos and cancer, and then devotes his career to exposing the shocking truth and bringing justice to victims. Two-time AFI Award-winning writer Kris Mrksa and producers FremantleMedia Australia bring the moving story of this still ongoing national tragedy to the small screen.

Anthony Hayes as mesothelioma sufferer Bernie Banton in DEVIL’S DUST.

Howzat!  (Channel Nine, 2012 TBC, two-part mini-series)

For a while, discussion around Howzat! The Kerry Packer Story focused mainly on which network would screen this ‘sequel in spirit’ to ABC’s Paper Giants, and whether Rob Carlton would reprise his AACTA nominated and Silver Logie-winning performance as Kerry Packer. Now that both questions have been answered, it’s time to take a closer look at the actual production. And what we can see so far looks like a highly entertaining trip back to the late 1970s when a young Kerry Packer took on the cricket establishment. Then owner of Channel Nine, Packer set up a rebel competition, the World Cricket Series and ushered in the era of one-day cricket played under lights. Lachy Hulme, also appearing in Beaconsfield and recently seen in Any Questions for Ben?, The Killer Elite and Offspring, continues his strong run and portrays Kerry Packer, backed by a supporting cast of moustachioed stars including Brendan Cowell, Damon Gameau and Matthew Le Nevez.

 

Matthew Le Nevez plays Dennis Lillee, Damon Gameau as Greg Chappell and Brendan Cowell as Rod Marsh on set of HOWZAT! 

Jack Irish – Bad Debts / Jack Irish – Black Tide (ABC1, 2012 TBC, 2 x 90min)

Rain. Wind. Pubs. Beer. Sex. Corruption. Murder. That’s Melbourne in winter for you, according to Peter Temple’s Ned Kelly Award-winning series of Jack Irish crime novels. Jack is an expert at finding people who don’t want to be found – dead or alive – and doesn’t mind stirring up a bit of trouble. He’s a former criminal lawyer, part-time investigator, debt collector, cabinetmaker, mug punter, and sometime lover – and the producers couldn’t have found a better actor to portray this complex character than Emmy Award-winner Guy Pearce. But while Pearce is certainly the big name on the roster of Jack Irish, he’s surrounded by a supporting cast that reads just as impressively: Damien Garvey, Anthony Hayes, Shane Jacobson and Roy Billing co-star, directed by one of Australia’s most promising young TV directors, AFI Award winner Jeffrey Walker.

Lawyer, punter, debt collector and sometime lover – Guy Pearce stars as Jack Irish.


Mabo 
(ABC1, June 2012, 117min)

Jim Bani and Deborah Mailman as Eddie and Bonita Mabo.

The life of Eddie Mabo has been the subject of several documentaries, most recently in Rachel Perkins’ groundbreaking series First Australians. Now Perkins, fresh from the success of Bran Nue Dae, returns to tell Eddie Mabo’s story in this telefeature. At its heart is the love story between Mabo and his wife Bonita that sustained their momentous struggle to change the face of Australia. In the lead role, Jimi Bani (The Straits, R.A.N.) is surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that includes Deborah Mailman, Colin Friels, Miranda Otto, William McInnes and Ewen Leslie. The talent assembled behind the camera is just as impressive: Byron Kennedy Award winner Perkins works with a team that includes multiple AFI Award winners Anthony Partos and Sue Smith. Expect this to end up on a lot of ‘best of year’ lists by the end of 2012.

The Mystery of the Hansom Cab (ABC1, second half of 2012, 120min)

Period crime series are hot right now on Australian TV screens. A trip into the prohibition era revitalised Channel Nine’s Underbelly series and the 1920s glam and swagger of the ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries endeared the series to many TV crime hounds. Now the ABC follows up its recent success with The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, a telemovie based on the first detective novel ever written in Australia in 1886 by Melbourne barrister’s clerk Fergus Hume. A milestone in the development of the literary crime genre, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab has been filmed three times as a silent movie and now returns to the small screen courtesy of producer Margaret McDonald and director Shawn Seet, who has shown a sure hand with such material as Underbelly: Razor.

Reef Doctors (Network Ten, 2012 TBC, 13 hour series)

In the current wave of crime and medical dramas that has swept Australian TV screens in recent years, family-oriented action fare has taken a bit of a back seat. That’s about to change with Reef Doctors, a 13-part drama series starring Lisa McCune in her first role since Sea Patrol wrapped last year. McCune stars as a single mother and leader of a team of doctors that serve the remote Hope Island Clinic, looking after residents of a small island community on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as tending to holiday-makers and thrillseekers. Reef Doctors also marks McCune’s first foray into producing and she is joined by two-time AFI Award winner Jonathan M. Shiff (Elephant Princess, H20 Just Add Water, Cybergirl), one of Australia’s foremost producers of family TV entertainment. Rohan Nichol, Matt Day and Richard Brancatisano complete the cast of this Australian-German co-production.

Rohan Nicol and Lisa McCune in REEF DOCTORS.

Puberty Blues (Network Ten, second half of 2012, series)

Claudia Karvan and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor – PUBERTY BLUES.

Like Bruce Beresford’s 1981 classic movie of the same name, Ten’s new series is based on the novel by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. It recently made headlines for its top-flight cast that includes Claudia Karvan, Susie Porter, Dan Wyllie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Rodger Corser and Ashleigh Cummings. More AFI Award winners are found behind the camera, with Southern Star duo John Edwards and Imogen Banks (Offspring, Tangle) producing and Glendyn Ivin and Emma Freeman (Hawke, Tangle, Offspring) directing. It will be fascinating to see what this impressive team of creative minds will bring to the re-telling of the story of two Sydney teenage girls trying to fit in with the local surf gang. Early word has it that the series will not only portray the two girl protagonists, but also their families and friends in greater detail.

Redfern Now (ABC1, second half of 2012, series)

Redfern Now looks like it might become a landmark series in more than one sense. It is crafted by seven Indigenous Australians under script guidance from three-time BAFTA Award winner Jimmy McGovern, with over 250 Indigenous Australians to be employed in various roles including producers, directors, writers, actors, production and post-production staff. While this will provide career opportunities for creative Indigenous Australians on a massive scale and have an impact on the whole film and TV industry, what will transpire in front of the camera should be just as interesting. Produced by Blackfella Films (First Australians, Mabo, The Tall Man), Redfern Now will tell “the explosive and dramatic stories of six households in Redfern […] one of Australia’s most famous suburbs – an area full of contradictions; [an] Aboriginal icon, centre of black struggle, and a real estate goldmine”, according to McGovern.

Tricky Business (Channel Nine, from May 14 2012, series)

When the first Tricky Business promo was released, it didn’t take long for some to compare the series to Packed to the Rafters. Ultimately, only once the first episode has screened will we know how similar or different both productions are. What’s clear already is that the show boasts a strong cast that includes two-time AFI Award winner Shane Bourne, Gigi Edgley, Debra Byrne, Kip Gamblin, Antony Starr and Tomorrow, When The War Began star Lincoln Lewis. Tricky Business focuses on a family that runs a debt collection business. Channel Nine’s Head of Television, Michael Healy, promises a show with “a very strong balance between family and procedural.”

A complicated family with a business in debt collection – Channel Nine’s TRICKY BUSINESS.

Underbelly: Badness (Channel Nine, second half of 2012, eight-part mini-series)

Last year’s Underbelly: Razor arguably revitalised the long-running Underbelly franchise by injecting it with a good dose of 1920s glamour. But after that trip into the past, the question is whether there’s any historical ground left for the series to tread? Returning executive producers Des Monaghan and Greg Haddrick seem to have found the answer: Underbelly: Badness jumps closer to the present day than any previous Underbelly series. Set in 2001-2011, this latest series focuses on Sydney underworld figure Anthony Perish and how he was brought to justice after ten years of police investigation. Production company Screentime have landed a casting coup, as AACTA Award nominee Jonathan LaPaglia will return to Australian TV screens as Anthony Perish, after his much lauded turn in The Slap. The cast is completed by Matt Nable, Josh Quong Tart, Ben Winspear, Leeanna Walsman and Jodi Gordon.

 

Underground (Network Ten, second half of 2012, telemovie)

For 2012, Network Ten has lined up a roster of productions that are likely to generate plenty of discussion around the water cooler. Apart from Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms and 70’s tale of teenage rebellion Puberty Blues, there’s Underground. Few people have received as much media attention and polarised the public as strongly in recent years as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. And so you can bet that this telemovie about a young Assange and how he allegedly hacked the CIA website is bound to make waves. After weeks of intense online speculation, Ten have recently announced Underground’s impressive cast, headed by newcomer Alex Williams and including stars and AFI Award winners Anthony LaPaglia and Rachel Griffiths. The production will be directed by Robert Connolly (The Slap, Balibo, The Bank).

Wentworth (Foxtel, 2012 TBC, series)

One of Australian TV’s undisputed classics is Prisoner, which ran for seven years and has garnered a cult following around the world (the fact that there’s a 174 DVD box set with all 692 episodes out there speaks to the series’ everlasting appeal!). So Foxtel has some big shoes to fill in with its contemporary “re-imaging” of Prisoner called Wentworth. Little is known about cast and crew at this stage, but Foxtel Executive Director of Television promises “a dynamic and very confronting drama series, developed and stylised specifically for subscription television audiences.” Produced by Jo Porter (Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, Always Greener), Wentworth will follow the story of newly arrived prisoner Bea Smith and her rise through the ranks of the all-female prison hierarchy to the position of “Top Dog”.

Winners & Losers (Seven Network, 2012 TBC, series)

Currently, we don’t know much about the second season of Winners & Losers other than the fact that it will return to TV screens in 2012. But that bit of information alone will be enough to excite fans of one of 2011’s biggest ratings winners. The final episode of season one brought some big changes to the lives of Frances, Sophie, Bec and Jenny, which gives series creator Bevan Lee (Packed to the Rafters) “a new launching pad for season two.”  Filming on season two began on August 23 last year and we look forward to finding out what’s in store for the four girls at the heart of Winners & Losers.

What will this year hold for the four friends from WINNERS AND LOSERS?

Also tracking:

ABC’s Rake returns for a second series, while Seven Network has a new drama called A Place to Call Home from Packed to the Rafters creator Bevan Lee in the making. Some of Pay TV’s biggest 2012 shows have already been released, but you can still catch up, for example on Tangle in its third year and Conspiracy 365.  Costing $13m, the latter checks in as Australian Pay TV’s most expensive production to date.

Stay Tuned…

Next week, in Part 2 of this story, we’ll be checking out Comedy and Light Entertainment, including Hamish And Andy’s Euro Gap Year, Lowdown Series 2, Next Stop Hollywood, Please Like Me, Shaun Micallef Is Mad As Hell, Sporting Nation and This Christmas, as well as some children’s television picks.